For the Love of Art Month - For the Love of Art Month -

Every year, during the month of February, ArtForms Artists Association organizes and produces For the Love of Art Month, coordinating with art galleries, artist studios and art spaces throughout town in a celebration of the Arts. From exhibitions and studio tours to musical and theatrical performances, the City of Las Cruces comes alive with Art in all forms, reflecting the vibrancy, diversity, history and culture of art in southern New Mexico. Anybody can engage and surprises await around every corner.

The event usually kicks off at Branigan Cultural Center with an ArtForms member show, which includes paintings, watercolors, prints, photography, sculpture, jewelry, digital media, and more. Dozens of locations across the city follow suit, with exhibitions and displays by local and visiting artists. Even local businesses get involved, including museums, doctor’s offices, business offices, salons, and restaurants. A display booklet, with studio tour maps, venue listings and details on the numerous art shows and performances taking place during the month are also made available at various locations across the city.

Tours are conducted over two weekends, in which artists open their studios for the public, offering a great opportunity to meet the creators, see where they work, and purchase artwork directly. Many artists who don’t have working studios, or who would rather not have people poking around their space, set up shop at established art galleries and pop-up galleries. Even New Mexico State University gets involved with demonstrations and lectures scheduled throughout the month.

Not to be left out, local authors celebrate For the Love of Lit, usually held at the Branigan Cultural Center towards the end of the month. Here, writers of all kinds read selections of their works and offer their published works for sale. Everybody is encouraged to take part, including high school and college writers.

When it comes to the arts, Las Cruces may not have the clout and financial backing of Santa Fe or Taos, but the artists who live and work here take their art just as seriously as those living in northern Art Meccas. From traditional mediums to cutting edge experimentations, the full array of works falling under the umbrella term “Art” are explored and presented, making it a unique experience for art collectors, patrons and everyday folk with an interest in creative expression.

ArtForms is a non-profit organization that supports art in all its forms. Meetings are held September through June, except February. For more information, visit the website.

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